Daily Archives: February 21, 2010

Baldacci seeks wind power cooperation – Bangor Daily News

Baldacci seeks wind power cooperation – Bangor Daily News.

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Presque Isle, Houlton benefit from energy conversion grant – Bangor Daily News

Presque Isle, Houlton benefit from energy conversion grant – Bangor Daily News.

Fishing derby halted after people, vehicles go through ice at Sebago – Bangor Daily News

Fishing derby halted after people, vehicles go through ice at Sebago – Bangor Daily News.

Hundreds ‘take it outside’ at Aroostook State Park – Bangor Daily News

Hundreds ‘take it outside’ at Aroostook State Park – Bangor Daily News.

Finalists for top job to visit Fort Kent campus | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Finalists for top job to visit Fort Kent campus | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Cannery closure end of the line for a way of life | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Cannery closure end of the line for a way of life | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Tide effects: A lot of hopes are riding on the final demonstration of a turbine designed to tap the powerful tides off Eastport | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Tide effects | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Where ‘one job means so much’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Where ‘one job means so much’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Letters From Away moves to a new home, while keeping the old

Letters From Away, my blog about what happens in Maine and to Mainers, has a new home. But I’m not nearly ready to get rid of the old home. I like it too much.

I plan to keep Letters From Away on WordPress.com, but now I’m going to have a (nearly) identical version on Blogger, too. It’s called the same thing – Letters From Away – but has a slightly different URL. It is http://lettersfromaway.blogspot.com/. There is a link on the WordPress.com version to the Blogger version and a link from the Blogger version to the WordPress.com version.

Why?

Well, I started the original version – the WordPress.com version – because I wanted to keep writing during my unemployment, reach out with information about my (limited) online portfolio and my LinkedIn profile, and keep idle hands from being so idle.

Frankly, it has been a bit more time-consuming than I first expected and I’m not getting the number of visits I would like, but I do realize blogging is a bit new for me and that it takes time to generate a following. And I rarely have a chance to promote Letters From Away – or another blog I write, Coffeehouse Observer – and when I do promote it, it usually is to my Facebook friends. But I’m hoping things will pick up.

And I think this is something that I can keep up once I have a new job.

And it should be something I can do should I return to Maine. The “from away” part in the title of the blogs refers to a Mainer phrase to mean anything or any person that is from outside of Maine. It is a phrase usually spoken by a Mainer with a bit disgust. Well, quite a bit of disgust.

So, if I do return to Maine, I can simply change the name of the blogs to Back From Away and just keep on going. Or I can create new blogs and link back to the older blogs to give readers context.

To make a short answer longer, the “why” in adding the Blogger version is to spread out a bit more, to give my writing, portfolio and hunger to get back to work a wider audience.

I hope you visit either version of Letters From Away. They are on slightly different templates and the Blogger version has a news feed feature for news from Maine and the rest of New England. For that reason, I may limit the links to news stories from Maine newspapers on the Blogger version. I’ll figure out all that later.

Well, enjoy! Or not. It’s your choice.

And as always, please feel free to contact me via the blogs or email me at keith.l.michaud@gmail.com to report bad links, copyediting errors or whatever. Thanks!

Coffeehouse observation No. 51-61: Observations about coffee dates

A coffeehouse is a great place for a first date. It is more casual than, say, a dinner date or movie date or dinner and movie date. It is more casual than a luncheon date, even. It is a chance to be more at ease during what could be the first and only real chance to impress a woman or man.

And there are chances to bail out of the date with grace because it is such a casual date.

But there are some things that coffeehouse daters need to keep in mind. Below are a couple of observations made over the years that could help in getting to a second date.

1) Don’t be late. If you were impressed by the person enough to ask them out on a date – even a coffeehouse first date – respect them enough to be on time. Being fashionably late is not cool for a coffeehouse first date. It’s not cool for any date.

2) Dress nicely. First impressions are important. Being nicely and neatly dressed might be better than being fashionably dressed. But it is a coffeehouse date, so don’t dress up too much. Take fashion into account, but don’t go Lady Gaga.

3) Don’t spill on yourself. First impressions are important. Heard that before. Well, spilling a coffee beverage – and that’s what you’re most likely going to have in a coffeehouse on a coffeehouse first date – is not cool. It will make you look clumsy, leave a visible spot for your coffeehouse date to stare at throughout the date, and stain your clothes long after he or she has walked out on the coffeehouse date.

4) Don’t spill on your date. Do I really have to go into why this is a bad thing? Really?

5) Don’t spill on anyone else at the coffeehouse. First impressions are important. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before. But spilling on someone at a neighboring table will make you clumsy – yeah, you’ve heard that before, too – and make you appear inconsiderate. After all, would a considerate person spill something on someone, anyone? No. And people on first dates are looking for people who are not clumsy and are considerate.

6) Don’t flirt with someone else at the coffeehouse. This also means not asking another coffeehouse patron – someone other than your coffeehouse date – for their phone number or starting a conversation with a person at another table. Just don’t do it.

7) For God’s sake, break up that muffin into bite-size bits before shoving it into your mouth. It is not impressive to spit muffin bits at your coffeehouse first date. Or to regale him or her with conversation with your mouth full of bran muffin. Chew your food! Swallow! Then talk!

8 ) Put the cellphone on vibrate or, better yet, silent mode. Saying you “have to take this call” and then answering it with “Hey, Baby, I can’t wait to see you tonght!” is not cool on a coffeehouse first date. Actually, it’s not cool on any date. Unless it is an emergency, every call, every voicemail message can be returned after the coffeehouse first date.

9) Don’t be judgmental, loud or obnoxious. Truly judgmental people are unacceptable. Loud people are rude people and do not merit the time of day. That’s not being judgmental. Obnoxious people are, well, just obnoxious.

10) Be polite and honest. Being polite doesn’t cost anything and it is much, much more impressive than being rude. And being honest should be a much more valued trait than physical appearance, income or the type of vehicle or home a person owns. If the coffeehouse first date is not going to lead to a second date, do not say “I’ll give you a call.” But be kind. There is no need to be impolite, dishonest and unkind, even if you plan never to see the coffeehouse first date ever again.

There, I hope that clears up for people planning a coffeehouse first date. I’m sure there are other tips, but you are just going to figure out those on your own. Good luck!

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

Coffeehouse observation No. 50

A lovely young woman in a green sweater and jeans was at the coffeehouse yesterday before I arrived and was still there when I left about six hours later. And she was reading … a book. Not an ebook, not a website, not a blog, not the back of a ceral box. A book. Granted, I believe it was a romance novel, but it was a book. A book! Go figure! She’s back today. And as she did yesterday, she shed her shoes and put her bare feet up on a vacant chair.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.